CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — There’s a tree that holds a special place in the hearts of some Camden, New Jersey residents. It recently won the Tree of the Year award for helping to pull the neighborhood together.
The Tree of the Year contest had entries come from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
“We tried to find a tree that has an amazing story and has really impacted people lives and communities in a way that trees do everywhere that they are,” said Matt Rader with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.
The winning tree is a 5-year-old weeping willow planted in Camden by Sheila Roberts and a group of her neighbors.
“While we were planting it we dedicated it and spoke words over the tree that it would be a tree of hope and rebirth for the city of Camden,” Roberts said.
Sheila’s granddaughter Marion Roberts wrote an essay called Tree of Hope, which was submitted as part of the tree’s entry.
She says over the years she developed a unique relationship with that weeping willow.
“This tree is a very special tree,” she said. “With these trees here, it’s bringing more neighbors out just to come together.
For winning Tree of the Year, the weeping willow gets one year of free tree care from Bartlett Tree Experts.